North Macedonia to host the 2022 IHF Women’s Youth World Championship
21 Apr. 2022
The ninth edition of the IHF Women’s Youth (U18) World Championship, originally scheduled to take place in Georgia from 3 to 14 August, will be held in North Macedonia from 30 July to 10 August 2022.
The Georgian Handball Federation (GHF) was the sole candidate to host the tournament when the rights to host the competition were awarded at the IHF Council meeting in Cairo, Egypt on 28 February 2020, but the current circumstances led to a request to release them from the duty of organising the event.
In a letter dated 23 March 2022, the Georgian Handball Federation argued that the current geopolitical situation created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine created an unstable situation and a potential risk for the stakeholders of the competition – including players, staff and officials.
The IHF took note of the letter and agreed with the Georgian Handball Federation’s assessment. With the Macedonian Handball Federation being interested in organising the tournament, the IHF Council decided to award the event to North Macedonia.
The competition will be played entirely in the capital of North Macedonia, Skopje, which has the experience needed to host an event of this magnitude.
Three arenas which have been used in the past for several handball events, the Sport Centre Boris Trajkovski, the Sport Centre Jane Sandanski and the small arena in the Sport Centre Jane Sandanski will be hosting the matches throughout the preliminary round, the main round, the President’s Cup and the knockout phase of the competition.
As Georgia are not hosting the championship anymore, they will also lose the automatic host spot for the IHF Women’s Youth (U18) World Championship. With North Macedonia having already sealed their spot at the event via the W17 EHF EURO, Slovenia, the next ranked nation of the European qualification, will be awarded a spot at the World Championship.
This will be the first edition of the competition with 32 teams at the start, an increase of eight teams from the 2018 IHF Women’s Youth (U18) World Championship, which took place in Poland. The eighth edition, which was due to be held in Croatia in 2020, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
North Macedonia have also hosted the 2014 IHF Women’s Youth (U18) World Championship, when Romania took their first-ever gold medal by defeating Germany in the final 32:21.